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Australia reshuffles cabinet amid sex scandals

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   Australia renews government after rape scandal in parliament | World | D.W

Today's swearing-in marked Christian Porter's return to work, as he was named the new Minister for Industry and Science.

"Linda Reynolds didn't describe Higgins as a lying cow on "social media".

A third woman later said he took a photo of her from behind while she was bending down.

Morrison also announced he was starting a new Cabinet taskforce to address issues of women's equality, safety, economic security, health and wellbeing.

Morrison has faced "intense pressure" after "a very bruising few weeks", the BBC's Australia correspondent Shaimaa Khalil said, describing the weeks of bombshell claims that "have really shaken his government to the core".

Lastly, Morrison restored Defence Industry Minister, Melissa Price to cabinet in her existing portfolio, making cabinet consist of seven women - Senator Cash, Senator Payne, Senator Ruston, Senator Reynolds, Ms Price, Ms Andrews and Environment Minister, Sussan Ley.

The prime minister has been left reeling from a political crisis triggered by rape allegations raised by former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins.

Canberra, March 29 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday announced a cabinet reshuffle after a series of scandals that have dented his approval ratings.

But instead of fixing the problem, he's "made a bad situation worse", according to Sky News host and former chief of staff to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Peta Credlin.

While promoting several female lawmakers, Morrison also moved two MPs who have been the subject of allegations.

Other new roles related to women include women's economic security portfolio to be held by Jane Hume in the outer ministry, while Queensland senator Amanda Stoker will become assistant minister for industrial relations and women.

"I want the PM of my country to be the PM for women as much as the PM for men".

'Previous governments had a minister for women, who was expected to cover all issues that affect women.

"Respect is degrading...we all need to practice it more", Morrison said.

Labor Senator Jenny McAllister criticised Mr Morrison's language, saying it would be amusing "if it wasn't so depressing".

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton will take over for Reynolds as defense minister, and Michaelia Cash will move from the employment ministry to succeed Porter as attorney general.

The new group will be led by Minister for Women Marise Payne and comprise all female ministers, along with the deputy prime minister, treasurer and finance minister.

"The key question is whether this reshuffle addresses the core grievances that everybody has been hearing from women MPs; the misogyny in Parliament House, the toxic culture, the boys club".

Mr Porter will leave his post as attorney-general to take on Ms Andrews' former role, while Senator Reynolds takes on government services and the NDIS.

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